Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
48,277 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2002 Buick Century cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2002 Buick Century Owner Comments

problem #7

Dec 102010

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles


2002 Buick Century. Consumer states design defect the consumer stated his wife took the vehicle to a repair shop because the windshield wiper blade was stuck. However, it was discovered the radiator was almost on the ground and in the process of becoming detached. She was referred to an auto body shop. The body shop stated the radiator mount was dry rotted beyond repair and should have never occurred in an eight year old vehicle. * updated 10/20/11.

- Plymouth, MA, USA

problem #6

Dec 092010


  • 31,939 miles
2002 Buick Century intake manifold/gasket fails at 31K miles. Coolant in the engine and mixed with the oil. All of the prior service and maintenance were performed at GM dealerships (where this should have been discovered prior to failure). Oil, lube, rotations done without waiting for indicator lights (2-4 times per year), all recommended procedures completed (including new brakes, throttle body and fuel injector svcs). This was a known issue regarding dexcool eating away the gaskets but GM filed bankruptcy to avoid full settlement and now dealerships claim ignorance to the issue. Now I have to pay $1500 to have the engine & radiator disassembled for cleaning. I was informed that labor is the bulk of the cost. Why won't GM charge the customer for the part and not the labor. I was told by the service advisor that the parts involved only cost $200-250, but I have to pay $1500 for a known issue/failure the manufacture was/is well aware of and is a safety issue that causes abrupt engine failure! I am so upset that my vehicle was so well taken care of and would fail with so few miles on it. My Chevy Corsica also failed due to dexcool (water pump replacement at 60K miles) and I did not receive a penny from the dexcool settlement (even though I filed and was eligible). GM should be held accountable for these failures that are still an issue. An engine failure in traffic is a serious defect.

- Highwood, IL, USA

problem #5

Dec 312009


  • 106,000 miles
I currently have a 2002 Buick Century custom with 107000 miles on it. I had a starter catch fire cause of a large buildup of oil coming from either the head gasket or the manifold gasket. This issue needs to be addressed. Driving at high engine temperature with cause a major safety issue for anyone driving short or long distant.

- Altamonte Springs, FL, USA

problem #4

Mar 152008


  • 90,000 miles


I noticed that there was sludge in the coolant tank after I got a low coolant light when the coolant was not low and the temperature was normal. I brought the car in to the Buick dealership and was told that oil was leaking through the intake manifold gasket into the coolant channels of the manifold. The oil was interfering with the coolants sensor causing the indicator light to come on. The dealer told me the system would need to be drained, flushed and refilled after the manifold was removed and the gasket replaced. This was going to cost over $800 the dealer indicated that this was a fairly common occurrence on the 3.1L engine so I asked why this was not a warranty issue to which he responded that GM would not cover this problem. I asked what would happen if I did not do the recommended actions; response, possible water migrating into the cylinders or oil/water mixing, all very bad for the engine. Because I like the car, I had the work done as I use this car for extended trips and I do not want to find myself with an engine failure. Since this does appear to be a common problem which may be aggravated by the use of dexron cooling fluid, I believe that GM should be responsible for repairs and/or reimbursement for such repairs that have been done.

- Summerville, SC, USA

problem #3

Jan 152005

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,000 miles
Intake manifold gasket failure. Replaced gasket.

- Parma, OH, USA

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problem #2

Jan 142003


  • miles
The coolant light never illuminated warning the consumer of a problem, subsequently the water pump in the consumer's 2002 Buick Century failed. For the second time the coolant sensor is not working.

- Eagle, ID, USA

problem #1

Nov 172004

Century 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,000 miles
I brought my car to my Buick dealer for service and was informed that the coolant had become sludgy. They told me that the system needed to be drained, cleaned and refilled and would cost me $129. I was very concerned about what could possibly cause this, and the representative couldn't tell me why, but that they caught it early and wouldn't be a problem. I then took a look on the internet for information on this problem and found out about the class action lawsuits against GM for their dexcool coolant problems in their cars, especially the V6's. I called the dealer to tell them that I had a problem with having to pay for this repair and that I was also concerned with possible damage to my system, intake manifold gasket problems and the effect that would have in the future. They told me they would call me back. This is a widespread problem that needs to be addressed by an outside Agency because GM is not stepping up to the plate to handle it. While not causing an immediate physical danger, it does certainly cause a secondary danger to motorists who break down on the road and the other motorists around them. Please step in and do something about this. Thank you.

- Port Jefferson Station, NY, USA

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